In July 2021, the news about the lockdown to fight with the Covid-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City made people in Hanoi nervous. The possibility of Hanoi applying lockdown was very high, the question is only when. During that time, all activities in Hanoi were continuing as normal.

Previously, on April 30, 2021, the Minister of Home Affairs issued Decision No. 568/QD-BNV allowing the establishment of the Vietnam Association for Logistics Manpower Development (VALOMA). According to the provisions of Article 10 of Decree No. 45/2010/ND-CP, within 90 days from the date of establishment, the Advocacy Committee must hold the first congress. This congress has a very important meaning, both to announce and launch the Association, as well as to approve the Charter, Operational Orientation and elect the Association’s leaders in the first term.

After the issuance of Decision No. 568/QD-BNV, the VALOMA Establishment Advocacy Committee urgently conducted preparatory meetings to assign necessary tasks. The date of the Congress was set to be 24/7/2021, on a Saturday for delegates to conveniently arrange to attend. This was also near the end of the 90-day period, in order to take advantage of most of the time allowed to prepare thoroughly for the Congress.

The meetings were all held online, both to take advantage of time outside of working hours and for brothers and sisters in different provinces to participate. The first preparatory meeting was held on May 7, 2021, just one week after the issuance of Decision No. 568/QD-BNV. Subsequent preparatory meetings were held on May 21, June 4, June 14, and June 25. The final preparatory meeting (6th) was held on July 19.

Document work, human resource work, logistics work… all had been gradually improved towards this date. Everyone was all excited because the congress day is also an opportunity to meet and exchange between schools and businesses. Some southern brothers and sisters were expected to fly to Hanoi to attend.

By the beginning of July, the stressful pandemic situation in Ho Chi Minh City showed that it would be difficult to hold the Congress as usual. Southern delegates could not attend the Congress. Although Hanoi still allowed concentration, events must be reduced in size. The Preparatory Committee to organize the General Meeting must consider the plan to organize the General Meeting in a limited form. Accordingly, delegates cannot conduct direct voting as at the Ordinary General Meeting, so it is necessary to have an urgent plan to build an online voting method.

One week before the congress, there were opinions on whether to postpone or delay the congress. Along with that, there was information that the host of the congress venue, the National Economics University, had an F0 case, so the school was lockdowned, unable to continue to host the congress.

In that context, the preparatory meeting on July 19 discussed and made a number of important decisions. Considering that the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic was not likely to ease in the near future, the meeting proposed to keep the time of holding the General Congress at 8:00 am on July 24, 2021. With a high sense of responsibility, the University of Transport had accepted to host the Congress on behalf of the National Economics University. The meeting also agreed to organize the Congress mainly online, with only about 20 delegates attending directly at the hosting venue to run the Congress and carry out the necessary procedures of the Congress.

These 20 delegates had been carefully selected, including 3 members of the Presidium, 8 guests from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Labour, War invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Vietnam Logistics Business Association, Vietnam E-commerce Association and National Startup Association. The rest were personnel in the Secretariat, the Election Team and those who directly did logistics and organization.

As a participant, closely supporting the Establishment Advocacy Committee and the Preparatory Committee to organize the Congress, I envisioned a lot about the scenario of the Congress to suit the pandemic context. The program of the Congress would still have steps that cannot be ignored, such as saluting the flag, announcing and handing over the Decision to allow the establishment of the Association, the statement of direction from the state management agency and the congratulatory speech of other Associations, discuss and approve the Association’s Charter and Operational Program, elect the Executive Committee, Inspection Committee and Association leaders, sign Cooperation Agreements with the Associations… But in the context that the Congress was held online, with some participants directly, the stages needed to coordinate smoothly to ensure the solemnity of the Congress, while the contents of the Congress were still fully communicated. The role of the technical department was very important.

At the end of the afternoon on July 23, 2021, I went to the University of Transport, with Mr. Nguyen Thanh Chuong, Ms. Trinh Thi Thu Huong, Ms. Nguyen Thi Van Ha and some members to review the final stages preparing for the Congress in the next day. Everything was fine at that time.

At 11pm, the News of the day of VTV reported that Hanoi decided to apply the social distance according to Directive 16, effective from 6 am tomorrow. Despite preparing for every possible scenario, the news still gave me a chilling sensation! Why tomorrow, why was 6 am and not 12 am. It felt like all the preparation work that had been going on for the past days was about to slip away.

The brothers impatiently asked me whether to postpone the Congress or not. Indeed, in the context of this pandemic, the Congress could not be held within the 90-day deadline, and no agency would blame it. But the Association needs to have a machine system, a seal, and an account to operate as soon as possible.

Talking to some members, we decided to keep the plan of holding the Congress, but completely online. Therefore, even the guests wouldn’t come to the venue in person anymore. Unfortunately, because such procedures as announcing the Decision, giving congratulatory flowers, signing the MOU also reduce the meaning or fail to perform. But there’s no other way.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, the 1st Congress of the Vietnam Association for Logistics Manpower Development took place as planned, entirely online. The steps to organize the Congress were carried out in the correct order, the delegates and guests attended the meeting fully, although Hanoi’s application of Directive 16 also made some delegates more busy because of handling related things.

At around 11:50 a.m, the Congress ended. The moment of saluting the flag ended the Congress, standing still in the room alone, but I felt like I was beating with the hearts of many delegates, who were full of desire and looking forward to the Vietnam Association for Logistics Manpower Development to create a breakthrough for human resource training in the logistics industry in the near future.

Reviewing the preparation for the Congress on the afternoon of July 23, 2021.

The Congress of the establishment of the Vietnam Association for Logistics Manpower Development, held online on the morning of July 24, 2021.

Delegates attended the meeting online.

Delegates participated in voting, approving the Association’s Charter and Operational Program.

The Association’s Executive Committee and Inspection Committee were nominated and elected by online form.

Dr. Nguyen Thu Thuy, Director of the Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education and Training, delivered a welcome speech.

Mr. Le Duy Hiep, Chairman of Vietnam Logistics Business Association, delivered a congratulatory speech to the congress.


Tran Thanh Hai
Deputy Director of Import-Export Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade
Chairman of the VALOMA project list.

Translated by Nguyen Huong – Dieu Linh.